Advice from the Real World

Advice from the Real World

Recent graduates send back nuggets of post-Colby wisdom

| Photos by A.J. Garces

This isn't your father talking. Or your mother. Or your uncle, who put in his two cents over spring break. This is advice from alumni who very recently left Mayflower Hill to begin Life After Colby. When they tell you to do internships, you'd better listen.

It began with this: If recent graduates could send advice back to students, what would they say? What lessons have they learned outside what some call "The Colby Bubble?"

We shot out an e-mail asking just that, and within minutes the replies began pouring in. Here is a sampling of suggestions on subjects ranging from punctuality (recommended) to the Peace Corps (always an option) to parents as an oasis ("generally a wonderful resource"). And students aren't the only ones who might be surprised by what they read here and online, where there's even more.
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  • On May 25, 2006, Dave Zohn wrote:
    There is no doubt that the first year after college is an extremely difficult transitional period. It was hard for me to envision a world outside of Colby until I was no longer there, and even then, it took months for me to come to terms with the fact that it was over. I highly recommend spending some time gathering yourself and your thoughts before you embark upon a career path or graduate school. Travel or just hang out for a few months, but spend some time thinking about what you would like to be doing in a year. Also, keep in mind that every time you find something you don‰t like to do, you‰re one step closer to finding what you do like to do. Life after college may not be the totally consequence free fun you remember from Colby, but it can be pretty awesome and rewarding. At least you still get weekends.

  • On June 24, 2006, Peter Hans wrote:
    Constantly keep your next move in the forefront of your mind. If you are unsatisifed with your current employment situation, formulate a plan to get to the job you want and then follow that plan (this will probably take a few years). Don't beat yourself down about this time period as you'll be a lot happier when you're in your mid and late 20's and have the career you want than if you settled for mediocrity.

  • On June 26, 2006, Jackie Dao wrote:
    The daunting question every recent graduate anticipates after leaving the hill: "So what are your plans now?Š We have experienced this moment at one time or another. I, for one, was extremely nervous because I had no career offers after graduation, just the distinctive urge to volunteer and gain work experience; perhaps abroad. I knew I needed to take a step and relocate. Taking my time to find a job I can truly appreciate and enjoy. Through this process, I realized that I am very young, and didn‰t need to rush to find the ,perfectŠ job. It takes experience, from the bottom up, to truly appreciate the choices you face and where they will eventually lead you. My first job was serving at a restaurant for 8 months until I found my current position on Capitol Hill. I wouldn‰t trade that experience for anything in the world. Unexpected moments truly help you define who you are and expand to who you could become. Even after a full year since graduation, I still have that urge to travel abroad and volunteer, but I know when the time comes, it will eventually happen. It is never too late.